Y07/06/21 Prince's Council about the Nephilim

Cast: Gillian, Carmin, Davidoff, Langsham, Elaine, Cafliaglon, Chance, Pyotr, Acton, Benedict, Julian, Emerson, Emory.
Location: an exclusive club secreted within Disneyland of Anaheim (North Orange County)
Synopsis: The 8 Princes meet to discuss the rise of the new Clan: The Nephilim.
Note: This scene was managed via BBS.

Here begins a new Council of Princes. This one was called for by Pyotr Lobachevsky, Prince of Torrance.
The place for the meeting is an exclusive club secreted within Disneyland of Anaheim, and Davidoff is the host.


  • Gillian and Carmin from SOC
  • Davidoff and Langsham from NOC
  • Elaine and Cafliaglon from LB
  • Chance from SC
  • Pyotr from Torrance
  • Acton and Benedict from SM
  • Julian from the Valley
  • Emerson and Emory from Downtown

Pyotr rises, nodding first to Davidoff, then the other Princes in turn.

"I would like to thank Prince Davidoff for hosting this event, particularly upon the unusually short notice provided. Thank you all for attending. I recognize that time in valuable, and we can waste little of it."
He clears his throat, clasping his hands behind his back.

"There is a new Clan among us. A new Blood. Many of us have no doubt seen this with our own eyes. I am sure that we have many different opinions upon their origins, their goals, and the role that they will play in the coming nights." He pauses, eyebrows rising.
"But there is no use in discussing this here, I think. There are no answers to be found there, only opinions, rumor, and hypotheses. Let us instead turn our attention to the matter most relevant to us as Princes: Whether this new Clan shall be welcome among us. Whether, indeed, this Clan should be viewed as a part of the Camarilla."
"We know that the topic is under discussion from those in higher positions within the Camarilla, but it behooves us to consider a stance — collective, if possible. The discussion for the Camarilla itself shall be measured in units of time that are unrealistic for Los Angeles, where the world moves at a less leisurely pace."
"Thus," Pyotr concludes, "in the time it shall take the Camarilla to make a concerted decision, much can happen. This discussion and exchange shall perhaps influence the development of this Clan and its direction; those in this area have few places to turn, and it falls to the Princes here to determine where Los Angeles shall stand."
He nods once more to Davidoff. "I yield the floor."

Davidoff, the Prince of Torrance has submitted for my review a request from a representative of this clan to speak in its behalf to this assembly. I offer her hospitality to do so, but would hear first of any objections or caveats. Lacking these, she awaits outside. She calls herself Luz, born Maria-Luisa de Guzman.

Prince Chance is quiet, looking confident and thoughtful, as if she has come as is her right but doesn't really have much to say this time round. Her aura betrays ambivalence, worry with a small undercurrent of perhaps … fear with an attempt at confidence.

"Well," Julian, the Prince of the Valley, starts off with his finger in the air, "I for one am not entirely cheerful about the idea of someone both unknown and untested being admitted to my physical presence without some prior vetting on my part. So, Caulden, either put her in chains or I'll be waiting outside. Which will it be?"

Julian's ultimatum echoes round the room, but before the resulting silence can really take root, Gillian Ventriss, the Prince of South Orange County speaks. Her delicate features mimic the polite mask of a smile and her tone is low, compelling, and chillingly precise.

"Firstly, I would offer felicitations to Prince Emerson on the visit of the Prince of Naples. South Orange County welcomes the hospitality that has been offered and extends hopes that the sojourn proves in all ways profitable to the principals … " — beat "— within the provisions of extant treaties."
She shifts topic smoothly, turning ice-blue eyes to Julian. "To the matter at hand. We speak here of neonates who come seeking favors. You react as if we were to receive some furious creature who poses a danger to which this puissant assemblage might have no adequate response, yet /chains/ would annul the risk. May I suggest, in all courtesy, that if you do not have stomach for this debate, you may wish to depart."

"For myself, I am willing to trust that Prince Davidoff has taken steps to assure the safety of this gathering…?" The smile she floats to Davidoff is sweet, but there is an undeniable question left hanging in the air that demands answer.

Auspex on Davidoff's notes:

Caulden Davidoff is renowned for his preparedness, almost fanatical it is said. And his response to Gillian resonantes with this:
"Be assured, such a creature will pose no threat here to your delicate Brujah flesh, Prince Julian."
He scans the room for other opposition, finding none, and with a nod to Pyotr calls forth the new speaker.

Maria Luisa is shown into the room. There are no signs of the wings or suchlike that have been rumoured about this new clan. She looks at the faces around the table, meeting gazes with a respectful nod if they are directed to her.

Description Maria Luisa:
A tall businesslike woman with dark hair and eyes, flawless makeup, and a charismatic smile. Anyone close to her will notice the cold (+explain cold)

"Good evening. I'll make this introduction quick, Ladies and Gentlemen, so that I can move on to business and waste as little of your time as I can. My name is Maria Luisa de Guzman. And I never in a million years thought that the day would come when I would have — I hesitate to say the honor but it really /is/ an honor and also a privilege — to address a room of your kind in this way. Not until relatively recently."

"Before I say a little more about myself and my fellows, I should like to be clear in my hopes for tonight. I have come here to speak on behalf of the Pure not to ask for a seat at your table, but merely to assert that we are willing to live and die by the laws and traditions of your organisation. What I hope very much is that tonight we can open a dialogue that will be to our mutual benefit. Many of us are disinterested in other vampires, and none of us are motivated to oppose any of your kind except in self defense. We exist, we /are/, and we have shed a layer of humanity and become something different … as you have done. We would very much like to maintain our connections with Los Angeles, the city has been good to us and we have fond memories of it."

"You may know of our connection with the Church of Empiricology. I won't bore you with the details of our transition, but suffice it to say that generations of planning and eugenics have been involved in reaching this point, which was realised at the time of the quake, a few months ago. Even most of us who were part of the Becoming had very little notion of where it would lead, or how. It will never be repeated. I can however assure you that our numbers in this city are not huge, and currently stand at no more than 6. I'm sure Mr Lobachevsky can assure you as to that point, since he has been a marvellous intermediary between us and your kind, and his word may carry more weight than mine."

She doesn't look at Pyotr as she mentions the name. Perhaps she doesn't even recognise him.

Auspex on Maria Luisa's notes:
<amused, more traces of real nerves>

"There are some of my fellows who coin the name Seraphim for those of us who transitioned. Still others who talk of stealing fire from heaven. This, Ladies and Gentlemen, is largely a philosophical matter for greater minds than mine to discuss. But there is one thing I do want to say on the subject. If any or all of us have committed sins against God, then it is to Him that reparations will be made. I do not believe that we have knowingly transgressed against any of your kind — but if that proves to be the case, then we will make reparations to you as is necessary."
Then more softly, she adds, "And for what it is worth, the powers involved in the transformation gave themselves willingly, at the end."

"I believe that we can profitably come to an arrangement by which we can coexist. I think it would be of use to all involved, and I hope that we can reach an agreement on that tonight. I am of course more than happy to answer any questions."

Auspex on Maria Luisa's notes:
<Poised and energetic. Traces of nervous energy. And dark veins.>

Auspex on Chance's notes:
<Chance's aura starts off as Embarrased when Julian speaks with a hint of trepidation. When Gillian speaks it radiates a hint of amusement. When the new person arrives it turns to interest with a hint of worry. During all that time she says nothing, merely sitting with arms crossed, trying to look indifferent but interested.>

Auspex on Emerson's notes:
<Twisted malice and fury. righteous anger.>

Emerson speaks; "Brave words, gently spoken."

Any delusion that this could be a compliment is instantly banished by the biting, sardonic tone. Emerson continues to speak, his head bowed slightly, his vacant eyes focussed on the space before him.

"What do we know about these creatures?" he asks, addressing the Council but never once taking his hollow, expressionless gaze from the table before him. "That they have been harbored by Lobachevsky, that they profess no ambitions while at the same time seizing for themselves the most audacious of prizes, and that in doing so they have trafficked in matters which no man should touch. And it is on /these/ grounds that they ask we should throw open our gates and break bread at our tables? I say nay. The lips which whisper from the darkness and now ask to kiss us on the cheek will not so lightly abandon their ways, and what will they call up next time they seek power? Whose name will those lips invoke, and for what fell powers are they but harbingers?"

"Brave words, yes. But the scope of my indifference to their refrain is dwarfed only by the unholy joining of their pride and presumption in singing it. They stand before us and speak of crimes against God as if such things were a mere trifle among friends. They coil beside us, smiling and urging that yes, of course they will keep our laws, all we need do is taste of the fruit which they offer. They are facile and false.

None are created in this city without my leave. And our laws admit to only one punishment for such transgression. They should be here on their knees with ashes and sackcloth, begging for forgiveness and seeking the solace of harsh penitence. Instead… "

"Crimes against god," he repeats.

He turns only his head, addressing Maria Luisa directly for the first time. "I tire," the ancient says coldly, "Of artifice, and mockery of the human form. Show your wings, if you have them."

The woman spreads her hands, and with a shrug the wings are there. A pair of large folded batlike wings are fixed to her shoulders, the leathery skin as soft as oiled silk. Her aura, finally, shows trepidation.

"Seraphim. What chorus sings the praises only of their own ambition? What host devours its brothers? In your pride — the pride of the Shining One — you have willingly thrown away God's grace and it has forever slipped beyond your grasp. I name thee Nephilim, the fallen and irredeemable."

His dead gaze remains on Maria Luisa, even as his attention seems to shift back to the Council. His words are like a whiplash, yet never once has he raised his voice. "I will not welcome these creatures' taint at my hearth. I claim any who enter my dominions as forfeit, regardless of any hospitality I have extended to others."

His eyes rise to look about the table. "These words, I have spoken. They should be destroyed. Yet I fear that they shall not, that evil shall endure and find its haven in your weakness as it has ever been the doom of men. I know that your ambitions burn at the power which these demons represent, stoked by their sin and audacity. Yet even as your souls silently long for their damned favors, even as you seek to cloak your own pride in the guise of compassion and reason, I say unto you that they must not be accepted among us. If you lack the will to destroy them in your own dominions, cast them out. All that they touch shall be corrupted, and shall perish in fire."

The Ancient's head tilts slightly, his eyes slowly falling back to the table. It is as if he had never moved, never spoken — yet the power of his voice, the palpable force of his will, hangs still in the air, suffocating and potent.

Auspex on Gillian's notes:
<A wash of anticipation and excitement smothers her
usual disinterested poise>

Gillian wears a charming smile with just a hint of predatory tension as she rises to her feet.

"As always, Your Highness honors us with your input and insights," she says to the Malkavian, gaze lingering on the man through lowered lashes before she turns to the rest of the room.

"Well, this has been enlightening and I remain intrigued by what these people represent, whatever we decide to call them. Nephilim? It has a biblical flavor that I rather like. In any case, my correspondence with associates in Europe leads me to believe that another of their representatives spoke at length with The Grey Rose of Geneva, who is the ancient Justicar of my own blood. I might remind you all here that whilst the august Prince of Downtown holds the well-earned epithet of 'Eyes of the Camarilla', there are others in our community who have no little insight themselves, and the Justicar of my clan should be held among these. She stayed her hand and heard their words. And I believe our cousins of Tremere have confirmed their blood as that of a new clan?"

She glances to Davidoff and then to Pyotr. Davidoff acknowledges the question with a dry shrug and a nod of confirmation.

"My fellow Princes, I am unwilling to sanction their wholesale destruction, still knowing so little about them. And I confess no small curiousity myself. We see wings upon this creature, but her aura bears the same marks as any of ours, and I see no deliberate deception in anything she has spoken here. We share an essence. We are brothers and sisters in blood. None of us stand here in innocence, to be so quick to judge. And some of them have clearly already fled this city — if we deal so harshly with those brave enough to stay then who knows what knives shall be sharpened against us in the dark some night. Conversely, why turn away allies who have new knowledge and perspectives to offer, who can perhaps pique even the most jaded temper of we who endure the long nights of social ennui?"

"I cast my vote to accept these Nephilim, and I would be pleased for my seneschal to take introductions from any who wish to reside and hunt on my domains. I also cast my vote against any artificial limits on their standing. If any prove worthy, I reserve the right to reward them with rights and responsibilities to the same extent I would treat any who fall under my praxis. If they prove unworthy, then I reserve the right to punish to the same extent also."

She glances again to Emerson.

"We should beware also of succumbing to the zeal of bygone times. Were we to destroy all who seek immortality, our hubris would devolve into outright hypocrisy. We do not all hold the centuries and power to stand contrary to the winds that blow from Europe, nor do we all adhere to the outdated religious precepts of —"

… the prince of South Orange Country tails off mid-sentence. Her aura flickers for a moment in sudden realisation and uncertainty, losing the thread. She retrieves her composure and says, more subdued, "Pardon my temerity, Your Highness. I speak out of place, it is only my enthusiasm that misspeaks me. I believe I had said what was in my heart to say on this subject." And she sits down again, her face an expressionless mask.

Davidoff, Prince of North Orange County, tenses with Gillian's trailing words. His eyes focus on empty parts of the room and his mouth shapes words in silence. But he puts nothing forward, and remains seated as Gillian sits and Acton stands to speak…

Auspex on Acton's notes:

Acton's manner is wholly businesslike. Contrasting the emotional tenor of Emerson and Gillian, he is detached and soft-spoken. He calmly relates the following as if addressing the board of a corporation:

"This is a well-called gathering of a most significant opportunity for this city, and I commend the Prince of Torrance in his judgment. I have known Pyotr for many years and he is nothing if not aplomb, judicious and assiduous in all matters. In evaluating the risks at hand, I am uninclined to welcome an entire clan whole cloth while yet knowing almost nothing of them. However, I concur with Her Highness regarding the temerity we might display in presuming to prejudge the careful considerations underway by our Elder counterparts in the Old World.

Santa Monica has the flexibility to move with the times and adapt to this situation in a more productive manner than denying the existence of these… Nephilim? … and more so rejects destroying them in some futile hope that their memory be expunged. Their representative seems well-spoken and to have her wits about her, albeit with lack of appropriate respect - we can mend such oversight in time. Winged or not, I am given to understand we speak here of what are essentially vampires and who are prepared to be treated no differently than others. Consequently, I shall accept the introduction of *one* of their number on a trial basis, that I might learn more about them at my leisure and vet the risks and benefits they bring.

In summary, a vote of *nay* to their destruction out of hand - custom dictates that the sire who creates without permission be destroyed - but that discretion may be exercised on behalf of the childe - and I believe these creatures fall into that category. Equally, a vote of *nay* toward artificial restrictions placed on their standing - if we have learned anything from our years, one places great value on patience and recognition of capability, even in those with imperfectly synergistic views. I am confident Santa Monica can endure this measured risk to consider what assets might emerge from this chrysalis."

And with a "Thank you, Gentlemen, Ladies." Acton concludes his vote and statement of position.

Throughout the deliberations, Elaine has held a stoic gaze, unreadable, frozen and still - crystal blue eyes alight with interest and assessment of the political landscape forming before her. During Emerson's speech she raises a delicate hand to her lips with a contemplative look. <Aura: Fascinated curiosity> The hand lowers once more to her lap and while Acton receives no special motion on her part, while Gillian is speaking Elaine tips her head slightly, eyebrows raising very slightly. <Aura: Surprise>

As Acton sits, Elaine allows a polite moment to pass, that his words be given due respect before her own. With decorum, she smoothly stands and speaks, her court-expert vocal qualities tuned to this room, her manner not unlike Acton's - dry and British, but she projects a manner less business-minded, more despotic. As if following some formula of protocol obvious to Ventrue, she too first speaks of Pyotr.

Auspex on Elaine's notes:
<Cool and subdued, Decisive>

"It is clear the introduction of Clan Nephilim is a matter of grave consequence to this honourable assembly," she looks to each Prince present, particularly lingering on Emerson, and landing ultimately on Pyotr, "and I commend the Prince of Torrance for his forthright vigilance. It is the choice of Long Beach to support the Eyes of the Camarilla in this matter." She pauses, allowing this to sink in before further qualifying.

"Until evidence of weight should prove otherwise, I shall entrust the wisdom of my Elder and none of this clan shall be welcomed as citizens of Long Beach. You are all familiar with my penalty for Trespass." Another pause, then, "Further, while I shall recognize the decision made by this Council concerning their standing in other domains, my position shall be to limit their standing within our domains to that of Caitiff."

Auspex on Chances's notes:
<Anxious but interested during Emerson's speech. The anxiety lessens during Gillian's, turning thoughful instead though a bit of worry creeps in and stays. For Acton, there is interest and a bit of not boredom, but her aura would be rolling her eyes if it had them. Elaine's speech brings curiosity and calculation.>

Chance clears her throat and shifts uncomfortably in her seat for a moment. "What I see here is that the cat is out of the bag. Prince Emerson has made a few good points and Prince Gillian's brought up a few others. The clan is here. Like clans before 'em, we can't ignore 'em. I've spoken to a few of 'em and got reports of others and my big concern is somethin' Prince Emerson brought up rather insightfully. Pride. These folks think they're better'n us. That kind of attitude never sat well with me and I'm sure it don't sit well with you folks either. But they're new and not stupid. You ain't goin' to wipe 'em all out cause they scattered like roaches and once you got one, you'll *always* get more. South Central is the back-end of the city. I've tried to make folks welcome there that ain't been welcome anywhere else if they keep their behavior within reason and don't risk our existence and my own neck." She smiles faintly, as if this is a small attempt at humor.

"I'm one to take risks now and again as you all know. From your point of view, reckless ones and in hindsight, some were, yeah. In this case, I'm willin' to risk again, because while arrogant they may be and havin' shit we ain't seen before, they're like us now, with the same problems we all have. Me, I think it's a sign that they've got a lot to learn because pride will get you in the end more often than not. Let time decide. If they're willing to live and die by our rules, surely folks who have time and experience on their side can handle the problems if any they bring."

She shrugs lightly. "So they're different. Different don't mean bad. Over the centuries, people always feared the unknown and different. Black, white, whatever. I say give 'em a chance and get to know 'em. I mean hell, so you got a new equation in the mix. I'd have thought some of you might welcome somethin' novel in your life. Me, I ain't all for the new and shiny but I'm all for acceptance if folks play ball." She sits back down again, her expression one of mild defiance.

Because this is a Prince's Conclave, and he isn't a Prince, Benedict doesn't speak. That doesn't mean he sits like a bag of potatoes and seems disinterested. On the contrary, he looks concentrated and he's attentive, focussed and seems to mentally file everything that's said here for future use, no matter who speaks or what the opinion is.

Auspex on Benedict's notes:
<His aura matches the way he appears: calm, alert, calculating>

Only at a few occasions his glance drifts from the speaker. When Davidoff only mouths some words, he looks briefly to Emerson and Gillian, before focussing on the prince holding the floor again…

Auspex on Benedict's notes:

When Gillian trails off, he looks at Emerson for a moment…

Auspex on Benedict's notes:

… and when Acton proclaims one member of the new vampires will be accepted into Santa Monica, he looks for a moment like he sees his work cut for him right then and there, businesslike and pragmatic as usual.

Auspex on Carmin's notes:
<Emptiness. Nothing here moves Carmin.>

Carmin is silent throughout Luz's speech. Quiet throughout Emerson's speech. And quiet throughout Its sire's outburt. However, Its eyes drift toward Gillian, which have been focussed on the Luz. The genderbending Toreador frowns slightly as It watches Its sire, especially as she trails off.

Auspex on Carmin's notes:
<Disappointment, and nervous anxiety>

Carmin spares a glance toward Davidoff. And then turns Its attention to whomever is speaking at the time. South Orange County's Seneschal, however does not speak. Not a once.

Auspex on Pyotr's notes:
<Aura: Inquisitive, excited, engaged. While Emerson speaks, thoughtful and wary. At Elaine's words, bored. When others speak, intrigued.>

Pyotr rises at this point, inclining his head to Davidoff, then Emerson, then the others.
"I am appreciating very much opportunity to be having discussion. Is productive that we are having views exchanged. Torrance is welcoming Nephilim who are wanting to be staying within borders, and is recognizing standing of Nephilim who are showing distinction in action and spirit."
His gaze flickers across Emerson, and he notes, "Torrance is sharing concern about Pride of Nephilim. Is common downfall — vampires arriving newly are thinking 'ah, I am having great power now', and they are forgetting others are coming first and sometimes knowing more. But is not interest of Domain to be showing our own Pride and condemning out of hand. So, this is being stand Torrance is taking."

Pyotr rises to his feet once again, turning this time his full attention to Emerson.

Auspex on Pyotr's notes:
<Keen interest>

"Your Highness, I am having only one question other. You are stating objection to acknowledgement of new Clan. This is prerogative, I am seeing nobody objecting of course. But are you permitting still possibility of new Clan to be traveling to Elysium you are keeping in Downtown?"

Auspex on Julian's notes:

Julian responds to Pyotr's comment before the somber Emerson reacts.

"Begging pardon, perhaps I might first cast my votes?"

He looks to Davidoff, adding, "And your clan-mate has not voiced yet either." He folds his arms, jaw askance, eyebrow raises, then he evenly speaks to the council.

"While it is the long-framed policy of The Valley's borders to be liberal and welcoming of new ideas, this is not a matter of sophist tolerance. These are an unknown, and the one person whose ability I know best to peer through the unknown speaks against these creatures, and I will heed his warnings.

"These Nephilim will not be given passage into the Valley, and I shall cast my vote against acknowledging any above the rank of Caitiff until we hear from Europe."

And with that he sits.

Auspex on Davidoff's notes:
«Calculation. Conviction.»

Taking the prompting from Julian, Caulden Davidoff raises slowly, deliberately, and the host of this gathering draws the attention of all. Perhaps it is a quality of his realm, or some Tremere trickery, but he looks and feels of a power often thought to be sleeping in the city. This Elder, this Warlock, is this night the last to vote.

"I would remind this Council that there are grave crimes these creatures purportedly committed in the pursuit of what they became. This knowledge was not the product of merely scholarly activities, or even scientific method, but included theft and murder against our own. Were they yet mortals, we would have no objections to wholesale slaughter, not even need a vote such as this. In the case of murder, again, we have a Tradition that speaks for Justice against the destruction of an immortal.

"But this case is, indeed, unusual. And while I cannot in keeping with strict adherence to the Traditions lay fully the guilt of these actions upon the totality of this bloodline, I do insist that there be a reparation for the hardship and death placed upon the Tremere and Malkavians of Europe - who fought battles in the wake of the …" He stops.

Then Davidoff qualifies, "It remains speculation still, but there is good reason to believe this recent strife between the clans has at its root the activities of these Nephilim. It is also my belief there are other insidious acts committed in the pursuit of their agenda. And I insist punishment be meted out appropriately.

"North Orange County, by my authority as it is my domain, shall abide by the policies aligned with Clan Tremere, by my own advising, to choose at this point *against* wholesale destruction of those of this blood. However, the domain shall shun the presence of their kind and regardless of how any of you elect to employ them shall not recognize any new appointments of any of their number to standing above that of a mere citizen."

The pun cannot be unintended, yet his manner is dark rather than joking, "Not even as a messenger envoy."

And as he sits, he speaks his final thought on the matter, "In time they may earn a chance for redemption and honor, as have we all, but no welcome shall be given, no open arms for their knavishly-earned success."

Acton interlinks his fingers. After Davidoff has spoken, he sweeps the table briefly with his gaze. Since there are no interruptions, he notes evenly:

"Very well, the council has spoken. As I tally it, the majority — comprising Santa Monica, North Orange County, South Orange County, Torrance, and South Central — cast their weight against calling for the destruction of these nephilim. Therefore let it be recorded that the traditions of the Camarilla as interpreted by the Princes of Los Angeles gathered here preclude a blanket destruction of members of this new clan unless individuals by their own actions warrent such response."

He pauses for a beat to let this sink in but continues smoothly.

"With respect to the standing of the nephilim in the domains of Los Angeles, votes as to whether to treat them as caitiff are evenly split. I would therefore advise that any here who wish to elevate one of these creatures to a position of standing or to assign land to them be aware that they do so without the mandate of this council."

"I am content to allow these nephilim to attend the elysium in the Getty Center, subject to the same rules and restrictions that apply to neonates of any clan. If Prince Emerson wishes to close LACMA to them, I would suggest that anyone who wishes to post official notices applying to nephilim as well as members of other clans may wish to post a copy of their document to the Getty also."

Emerson lets the others continue to speak while Pyotr's question hangs in the air, head slghtly bowed, eyes closed. By the time Acton's words trail off, it seems very likely he's forgotten entirely about the questiona and slipped off in contemplation of whatever dark, twisted dreams inhabit the Ancient's mind. After an awkwardly long silence — not long enough to draw another chatting voice but long enough to make even a vampire notice, his eyes open and roll back up towards the table, vacant and empty. "But I am bound… Prince of Torrance," he almost whispers with a note of self-satisfaction. "Bound by the agreement made by your predecessor. A central Elysium must be maintained. Would you not agree?"

He does not wait for an answer.

"Of course it pleases me and all the rest of us assembled that you remember our duties and obligations under the Treaty. And you will remember as well that the Treaty places the power of Lextalionis throughout the city squarely in my hands. I am certain that you can understand I am being both merciful and gracious in even permitting discussion as to the fate of these creatures."

Emotion crosses his face for a moment, a hard, threatening anger that lands squarely on Acton. "Gather them up, if you will. Give them the sanctuary of your museum, for if they prove false, I shall rain down upon them vengeance wherever they cower. If it is under your arm, Ventrue, then I shall only thank you for herding them for the slaughter."

He stands, looking around the room. "It is as it always shall be. You will do as you will. But one night, perhaps not this night, but soon, I shall not be there to save you from your pride and folly." With that, the ancient turns and heads to the door. As he approaches it, he seems to simply fade from view.

Caulden Davidoff rises slowly as he watches the vanishing Ancient, his gaze drifting off beyond the objects the room contains. For a lingering pause his unblinking stare considers the exit, the words, the silence, until finally he concludes the meeting:

"The Prince of Santa Monica has provided a fair tally of the determinations made and not made in this Council. And I call this meeting concluded."

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